Roundup: 7 COVID deaths, Pictou Co. student heads for Florida pageant, Bridgewater mayor questions NSP monopoly, N.S. Junior Hockey league resumes

Felicity Mitchell. Photo: Submitted

Plus: Before cars were king — how mass transit transformed Halifax

COVID-19 has killed seven more Nova Scotians, says the latest government update.

The victims, all from the Western Zone, are a man in his 60s, two men and a woman in their 70s, a woman and a man in their 80s, and a man in his 90s.

“Every person we lose is a reminder that COVID-19 persists as a threat in our communities,” Premier Tim Houston says in a press release. “It hurts me to know that seven more families are grieving the loss of a loved one before their time.”

So far, the disease has killed 176 people in Nova Scotia, and 35,470 people across Canada.

Health officials estimate there are 2,661 active cases of COVID in Nova Scotia, with 158 new lab-confirmed cases reported yesterday. But those numbers don’t reflect COVID’s true extent. Houston’s government recently stopped widespread testing and follow-up, saying that the pervasiveness of the Omicron strain requires focusing on vulnerable areas like hospitals.

Health officials also reported three new hospital admissions and five discharges yesterday, for a total of 68 people hospitalized for COVID and getting treatment in specialized units, including 12 in ICU. There are also 132 people who were admitted to hospital for another reason but tested positive for COVID (or were in a COVID unit but no longer require specialized care), and 156 who contracted the disease in hospital.

Pictou County student heads for Florida pageant
In July, Felicity Mitchell of Salt Springs will be representing Nova Scotia as “Ms. Northumberland Strait” at the North America Pageant in Orlando, Fla.

The 19-year-old, who studies criminology at Saint Mary’s University, has been competing in pageants for the last five years. “I started doing pageants when I was in Grade 9,” she recalls. “My mom saw something. I was joking about it and then I got serious … I’m meeting people from all over the world. I love meeting new people.”

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

W.R. MacAskill / Nova Scotia Archives

The transit revolution
Before Halifax all but surrendered its streets to the almighty automobile, a sophisticated network of trams criss-crossed the city, giving people freedom and mobility like never before.

“The tram car was pretty much the major source of transportation for the average working person,” says Don Cunningham, co-author of The Halifax Street Railway 1866–1949. “Most people travelled on them back and forth to work and (operators) knew everybody because they used the same tram car for pretty much their entire adult life.” 

Now, all that remains are a few paved-over tracks — occasionally unearthed during road repairs — and memories of a transit revolution that transformed the lives of working-class Haligonians.

Katie Ingram looks at what we lost in this Unravel Halifax journey into our past.

South Shore mayor questions NSP monopoly
After Nova Scotia Power’s recent attempt to jack up bills for solar-power users, Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell is questioning whether the monopoly serves the province’s best interests.

“Times have changed and I think all options need to be on the table,” he says in a social media post, adding that the government’s foiling of the rate hike doesn’t assuage his concerns. “It doesn’t change the fact that the utility felt they could introduce a charge that would kill jobs, take the fight against climate change backwards, keep and in some cases lead more people into energy poverty and reduce the resale values of peoples homes, all in one shot.”

LighthouseNow has more.

File photo

Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League play resumes
With provincial public-health restrictions eased as of this week, the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey resumed play last night, with the Eskasoni Junior Eagles taking on the Strait Pirates in Port Hawkesbury.

The league is essentially using the remainder of February as a tune-up, with all teams qualifying for the playoffs, which start on March 1.

“The governors also agreed that with the down swing in league activity since Omicron bore through the province like a huge tidal wave back in December, it would only be fair to allow all teams to participate,” league official Danny Hines says in a press release.

The Reporter has details.

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